Acute and chronic effects of nano- and non-nano-scale TiO(2) and ZnO particles on mobility and reproduction of the freshwater invertebrate Daphnia magna.Chemosphere. 2009 Sep; 76(10):1356-65.C
Among the emerging literature addressing the biological effects of nanoparticles, very little information exists, particularly on aquatic organisms, that evaluates nanoparticles in comparison to non-nanocounterparts. Therefore, the potential effects of nano-scale and non-nano-scale TiO(2) and ZnO on the water flea, Daphnia magna, were examined in 48-h acute toxicity tests using three different test media, several pigment formulations--including coated nanoparticles--and a variety of preparation steps. In addition, a 21-d chronic Daphnia reproduction study was performed using coated TiO(2) nanoparticles. Analytical ultracentrifugation analyses provided evidence that the nanoparticles were present in a wide range of differently sized aggregates in the tested dispersions. While no pronounced effects on D. magna were observed for nano-scale and non-nano-scale TiO(2) pigments in 19 of 25 acute (48-h) toxicity tests (EC50>100 mg L(-1)), six acute tests with both nano- and non-nano-scale TiO(2) pigments showed slight effects (EC10, 0.5-91.2 mg L(-1)). For the nano-scale and non-nano-scale ZnO pigments, the acute 48-h EC50 values were close to the 1 mg L(-1) level, which is within the reported range of zinc toxicity to Daphnia. In general, the toxicity in the acute tests was independent of particle size (non-nano-scale or nano-scale), coating of particles, aggregation of particles, the type of medium or the applied pre-treatment of the test dispersions. The chronic Daphnia test with coated TiO(2) nanoparticles demonstrated that reproduction was a more sensitive endpoint than adult mortality. After 21d, the NOEC for adult mortality was 30 mg L(-1) and the NOEC for offspring production was 3 mg L(-1). The 21-d EC10 and EC50 values for reproductive effects were 5 and 26.6 mg L(-1), respectively. This study demonstrates the utility of evaluating nanoparticle effects relative to non-nano-scale counterparts and presents the first report of chronic exposure to TiO(2) nanoparticles in D. magna.